I haven’t really talked much about this whole white phosphorus thing until now, though I’ve been entertained by the back-and-forth in the comments. But a while ago Sven forwarded this really interesting article from the North County Times to me, and now that I finally got around to reading it I wanted to pass it along. From staff writer Darrin Mortenson: White phosphorus debate grows white-hot.
It includes a firsthand account of the then-embedded reporter’s experience alongside Marines shelling Iraqi fighters with WP during the first battle of Falluja. It also offers a nice summary of the Pentagon’s evolving claims regarding the use of the substance, first saying it had not been used as an anti-personnel weapon, then, when confronted with detailed accounts of just that, switching to saying that it wasn’t a banned weapon, and wasn’t used against civilians.
Finally, the comments at the end of the story mention the ironic uncovering of a Defense Department report after the first Gulf War in 1991 that alleged that Saddam had used WP against Iraqi Kurds, and referrred to it as a “chemical weapon.”